Local group trying to save historic downtown buildings - WNEM TV 5

Local group trying to save historic downtown buildings

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM

Will two historic buildings bite the dust? Not if a local group has its way.

The buildings have arguably seen better days, especially after bricks started falling from the top of one’s façade in March. However, when the city decided to bring the buildings down, a local group stepped up to try and save the historic skyline.

The 86-year-old buildings are owned by the Saginaw County Land Bank and sit directly in the heart of downtown Saginaw.

Bill Ostash is with the group Preservation Saginaw. They've posted a video on their Facebook page urging people to help save two downtown buildings set to meet the wrecking ball.

The post calls for residents to contact city and county leaders in an effort to stop the demolition.

Officials with the county land bank said as far as saving the structures go, the buildings already past the point of no return.

“I don't even know if we could even stop the demolition,” Saginaw County Treasurer Tim Novak said.

Novak said work has already started at the site.

He said crews should begin demolishing the buildings in the next couple of weeks.

Novak admitted the decision to remove the buildings was a tough one but falling bricks from the deteriorating structure created a safety hazard that couldn’t be ignored.

“It isn’t something that we could wait six months or a year to two years down the road to see if it was going to be OK. The problem has to be dealt with now,” Novak said.

Novak said developers showed interest in the buildings but a deal was never finalized.

He also said he’s heard from residents who are ready to start a new chapter at the corner of East Genesee and Franklin Street.

“If we were to have a clean slate at those two pieces of property that development could come in there or someplace adjacent to it that it does look better than what's there today,” Novak said.

If the city agrees to conduct a historical study on these two buildings, demolition would be halted for roughly six months as that study is conducted.

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